FITIS and USAID to empower SMEs | Sunday Observer

FITIS and USAID to empower SMEs

4 June, 2023

A one-day conference was successfully concluded titled “Empowering SMEs through Data Security, Cyber Security and Innovation”, organized jointly by the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) Professional Chapter which comprise the Information Systems Audit and Control Association of Sri Lanka (ISACA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Catalyze Sri Lanka Private Sector Development (PSD) Activity.

FITIS Professional chapter (ISACA Sri Lanka chapter) focuses on promoting and educating Information Security, Privacy, Governance and Audit in the country. It is part of a global network of more than 200 chapters worldwide. The chapter has been very active in the country and conducts monthly webinars and physical conference to its members and MOU partners on a continuum.

The USAID Catalyze PSD Activity continues to unlock opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in high growth sectors in Sri Lanka which includes Information and Communications Technology. The Activity acts as a catalyst in private sector development by fostering MSME’s capacity, competitiveness,and access to finance.

Jayantha Fernando outlined the newly enacted Sri Lanka Data Protection Act and its impact on the digital economy. He also addressed other related acts such as the Right to Information Act, Electronic Transactions Act, and Computer Crimes Act. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of creating awareness about the act, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Sankalpa Gamwarige spoke on the topic of “Innovation Mindset” wherein he commenced by explicating the distinction between Innovation and Invention. He subsequently delved into various types of innovation, namely Business Innovation, Disruptive Innovation, Social Innovation, Frugal Innovation, and Open Innovation. Towards the conclusion of his speech, he expounded on ten essential components of an innovative mindset, which included Creative Curiosity, Analytical Curiosity, Empathy, Inclusivity, and Collaboration, among others.

Wasantha Weerakoone, COO and Co-founder of Tech One Global, addressed the significance of digital resilience and disaster recovery for SMEs. Mr. Weerakoone emphasized the critical role of digital signature tools in ensuring authenticity and non-repudiation, underlining their importance in safeguarding businesses against unforeseen circumstances.

The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT), National Innovation Agency (NIA), National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA), Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprise attached to Department of Entrepreneurship (DOE), Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce (FMSC), University of Sri Jayewardenepura all contributed towards the success of this conference.